Curcumin induces apoptosis via inhibition of PI3'-kinase/AKT pathway in acute T cell leukemias.
Apoptosis. 2006 Feb;11(2):245-54. PMID: 16502262
Curcumin has been shown to possess variety of biological functions including anti-tumor activity. The mechanism by which curcumin inhibit cell proliferation remains poorly understood. In the present report, we investigated the effect of curcumin on the activation of apoptotic pathway in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) malignant cells. Our data demonstrate that curcumin causes dose dependent suppression of proliferation in several T cell lines. Curcumin treatment causes the de-phosphorylation/inactivation of constitutively active AKT, FOXO transcription factor and GSK3. Curcumin also induces release of cytochrome c accompanied by activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. In addition, zVAD-fmk, a universal inhibitor of caspases, prevents caspase-3 activation and abrogates cell death induced by curcumin treatment. Finally, treatment of T-ALL cells with curcumin down-regulated the expression of inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAPs). Taken together, our finding suggest that curcumin suppresses constitutively activated targets of PI3'-kinase (AKT, FOXO and GSK3) in T cells leading to the inhibition of proliferation and induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis.